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Old 09-27-2010, 02:06 PM   #1 
kaythenewbie
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Female betta compatibility

I have a 20 gallon long with lots of plants and hiding places. Currently there are 5 glowlight tetra in it. I was thinking of slowly adding 2 ADFs, 3 ottos, another shoal of something (either tetras or cherry barbs, or harliquens) and a gourami centerpiece fish.

But everytime I see bettas, I just fall in love again. I keep looking at the gouramis but the bettas are calling to me. . .

So would my tank work if i ditched the gourami and got a female betta instead? I'm not looking to start a sorority, just wondering how a single female would behave in a community tank. Would she be okay or would she likely be aggressive to my other fish? Would the other fish stress her out?
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #2 
DragonFish
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Yup, you could do a single female instead of a Gourami no prob ;)

Females are generally less aggressive then males...but still aggressive to an extent, and sometimes you do get an extra aggressive one...though I'd say in general a single female would be no more aggressive then a single Gourami. I think a lone female would be very happy in a tank like that....though, bettas all have their own personalities...just keep an eye out, though it should be just fine ;)

Last edited by DragonFish; 09-27-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:41 PM   #3 
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I don't think you'd have a problem with the betta in this situation. However, keep in mind that ADFs can be extremely challenging to feed in a community tank situation. They are almost completely blind, so do not expect to just drop in a sinking pellet and for that to be the end of it. All the rest of the fish in the tank will consume every last bite before the frogs even know what's going on. They're not good for scavenging for uneaten food on the bottom, either--so don't expect them to eat the flakes your schooling fish miss.

When I had an ADF with a betta (which I now regret) the only way I could feed him was to get a live blackworm between my fingers and stick my arm in the tank to wave the worm in front of his face for a few seconds. This was the only way I could get him to eat with the betta present. If you have a tank with only ADFs, you could designate a feeding dish. Put the food on the dish in the same place every time, and the frogs will eventually learn to go to the same place when they smell food. However, all of your other fish will quickly learn this trick, so it won't work in a community. You should give some serious thought to how you're going to pull off daily feedings if you're determined to have ADFs.

The otos are another issue, to me. All otos we see in the pet store are wild caught--this means that they aren't adapted to live in aquariums like many other species, such as domestic betta splendens. Many otos eat exclusively algae and refuse all prepared foods like sinking pellets. Of all the algae that you might grow in your tank, they only eat a few very specific kinds. Otos are only recommended for mature tanks with a constant supply of algae--a new setup will not have the algae needed to support these otos and many of these fish are at the point of starvation before you even bring them home because of the conditions in the pet store.

Have you considered a school of pygmy cories or kuhli loaches instead of otos and ADFs? To be honest, a couple of nerite snails will do a better job of cleaning algae than the otos, and they aren't nearly as sensitive. Nerite snails can't reproduce in fresh water, so you needn't be concerned by a potential snail takeover.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:09 PM   #4 
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Thank you for your advice and concern. Just to clarify, I did not choose ADFs because I wanted bottom feeders to keep the bottom of my tank clean, I chose them because I love frogs and think they're fun and cute. I'm prepared for the difficult feedings and cleanings. I'm planning on feeding them with a turkey baster to put food in front of them.

As for the ottos, I have been reconsidering them for my tank. Someone recommended them to me, but I know that they are quite sensitive fish and can be a struggle for a new fish keeper like me to keep healthy. Like the bettas, I've sort of fallen in love with them. They are so cute and funny. I have been doing a lot of research and I feel like I'm prepared to care for them. However, I will most definitely reconsider them again.

I think loaches and cories are so cute, but I was concerned for the frogs that I'll eventually have. I figured that they'd be better off being the only bottom dwellers in my tank since they are rather defenseless (and blind). Plus, I heard that kuhli loaches can be aggressive toward ADFs.

My tank is just starting and I'm adding fish slowly, so if anyone has suggestions for me I'd greatly appreciate it. I'll gladly take any advice or listen to any concerns because I'm trying to get as much information as I can so I can take better care of my fish.

Thanks for the prompt replies about the female betta. Originally, I was going to house a male in this community, but I knew that there were a lot of risks to that. I'm excited that a female is a better match for my tank!
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:32 PM   #5 
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You could always wait a few months before you get the otos, so that you have a better supply of algae for them. Is the tank going to be planted with live plants? Live plants will compete with the algae for nitrates and if you add chemicals like Excel, you'll have a hard time cultivating algae, so keep that in mind. You could get a few small live plants, like various anubias species if you'd like, but don't go nuts.

I have kuhli loaches and I can't imagine them being aggressive toward anything--they're extremely shy and tend to be more nocturnal. Their antics are quite adorable, but keep in mind that they will appreciate a softer, sandier substrate.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:50 AM   #6 
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Should I add the ottos last then? Or the betta? I don't want my girl to mark out a territory and be aggressive toward any newcomers
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:25 PM   #7 
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She shouldn't have much trouble with the otos since they aren't a threatening fish--I would wait on them the longest because the cultivation of algae is going to be your main concern with them.
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